Folders is probably the most asked for Kindle feature. So with Kindle SDK out are we likely to see Kindle folders application? Right now it seems a coin toss to me.

After Kindle 2 was released internationally Amazon acknowledged the problem of organizing large libraries on the device promised a solution sometime in 2010. As I see it there are 4 options:

1) Amazon implements folders themselves. Folders can be one of the sorting options or a tab in the main screen that would most likely be accessed by tilting the 5-way controller right. Since Amazon owns the software and can integrate new features however they like it wold be easiest for them to do. So they may try to implement one-size-fits-all solution. I’m pretty sure that default home screen is going to be left intact by default so that the majority of users who are used to it will not have to change their habits.

2a) Amazon will provide a rich enough SDK that will allow developers to integrate their apps into home screen and book reading screens in a seamless and natural way (new menu items, new hot-keys, redefining existing hot keys, etc). This would allow the same experience as described in option 1 but developed by 3rd parties. So users will have more than one folders app to chose from. Multiple such applications might conflict with each other and spoil the user experience. However users will be free to chose any app or none at all. Since such seamless integration will require more complex SDK there is a chance that Amazon will not allow this kind of integration at all at least for now.

2b) Although it will not be possible to integrate folders application into home screen, Amazon will still allow applications to see filer in the “documents” folder and launch book reading application and PDF viewer. In this case folders app will be something users will have to explicitly start before they can see their library in an organized way. While this might not be too user-friendly it may end up being the only option. Lets not forget however that options 2a and 2b don’t cancel out option 1 (Amazon implementing folders themselves)

3) SDK will not allow applications to touch books at all. So folders app will be impossible to implement at all unless paired with a hack that Amazon will not likely allow.

Personally I find options 1 and 2b slightly more likely. Time will show if I’m right.

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